Fear of Failure

I am the oldest in my family. My parents were lucky to have perfection on their first try. Any normal couple would stop right there, afraid that they had used all the good genes on one child. But my parents had another, terrified for nine months that she would be worse than me. She is no Bre, but she is OK. She is my sequel, not quite as good as the original, but still entertaining. (I love you Shannon!) And that is what I have decided to blog about today, the fear of failure. Not matter how much I pretend to be confident and tease others, I am just as insecure (if not more) than everyone else.

As I am coming down from my post novel high, I am trying to get myself to focus on my next idea. But I am having some trouble making time to write. I can always come up with an excuse not to. And while my house is now noticeably cleaner, I feel ashamed. After long nights of soul searching I have realized and I am scared. Too afraid to work on my new story. I worry endlessly about not being able to finish my next novel, and that makes me unable to finish my novel. Even now, I am procrastinating by writing this blog instead. I am hoping by writing this, I will convince myself that there is nothing to be afraid of. And, if I manage to help someone else going through the same thing, that is just an added bonus!

I will admit, I do have some anxiety issues in my everyday life. Especially social anxiety and fear of failure. Funny how that crosses over into my writing! Starting this new novel makes me nervous. I am afraid that I won’t complete it, or that my idea is worse than my first idea. This one has a much more serious tone and I am worried without the veil of humor, my story won’t be interesting.  I spend more time being anxious about failure than I do actually writing. This is a surefire way to fail at everything. After finishing my first novel, I have more expectations for myself as well as thinking others have higher expectations. Don’t even get me started on publishing. Most people hear I have written a novel and immediately ask about my publishing plans. I feel that if I am never published they will look down on me. In reality, most people are just amazed I have written anything! There isn’t as us vs. them ideology. Most people are genuinely happy for me and want to see me succeed. By not writing because I am scared that they will think less of me when I fail, I am ignoring why I started writing in the first place.  I need to just buckle down and get started because I know as I fall in love with my story, these fears will melt away. Or at least become manageable. Each day I would come home to my husband and either hate or love my novel. It switched every day. So I don’t think I will ever become confident and in love with every word I write, but who wants to be perfect? The fun is in the adventure.

I just need to remember; an unwritten story is worse than a bad first draft. The story in my head that is partially formed will not magically become amazing without my hard work. By overcoming my fear of failure and being vulnerable in this aspect of my life, I may grow in others. So here I am, speaking to all my other new writers out there. We are afraid, we don’t want to fail. But if you feel like giving up, ignore that little voice. Every piece written is practice for your masterpiece.


Do you struggle with fears of failure? What tips do you use to get over your fears?


7 thoughts on “Fear of Failure”

  1. Hi there! I think all of us writers suffer from this kind of ‘performance anxiety’ and its side effect of procrastination..I certainly do! I paint as well as write, but writing fiction and crafting novels is by far the most challenging thing I have ever done. But that also makes it so exciting.It’s a bit of a double edged sword with self doubts versus feelings of real achievment. I would say go easy on yourself, and know that this kind of anxiety and fear of failure is so common an dpretty natural, its part of handling being a writer and I don’t think this struggle ever really goes away. Like you, I usually settle down when actually sat in front of my last paragraph! So be kind to yourself and I wish you well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks! I will definitely check that out! I have spent too much energy worrying about what ifs in my life. If I could convince the younger generations to do one thing it would be to give up fear. I appreciate your support 🙂


      1. So many people tell me as they’ve gotten older they’ve felt more free of fear. We need to take a page out of the Rhett Butler playbook and not give a d**n about what other’s think! Good luck on that crusade!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I believe we all have that same fear. I know I have the same issue with the novel I have been “working” on for several years.
    Personally, my anxiety becomes anger and then progresses to a “rage” at myself for allowing something like that to get in my way. Then I can “knuckle down” and create at least some content that will add to what I am working on.
    Go easy on yourself and rest assured that you can still create something that others will enjoy reading.

    Liked by 1 person

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